International Soccer

Gold Cup Rewind: Mexico defeats Martinique; Panama wins Group A as Canada eliminated

RaulJimenez1-MexicoMartinique2013GoldCup (Getty)


After a surprising loss in their first match of the 2013 Gold Cup, Mexico have turned their fortunes around.

Marco Fabian scored his third goal of the tournament as Mexico added two more on Sunday, defeating Martinique 3-1, winning successive games for the first time in 2013. The victory helped send Mexico through to the knockout stages as the second-placed team in Group A.

Panama won the group with seven points, drawing with Canada, 0-0. The draw sends Canada out of the tournament.

Coming off their win over the Canadians last Thursday, Mexico came out confident and looking like a different side than the one that lost to Panama in the opening match. El Tri finally found their breakthrough in the 21st minute, as Fabian acrobatically maneuvered a shot over Martinique goalkeeper Kevin Olimpa.

Mexico midfielder Luis Montes booked his place on the Gold Cup highlight reel with a long-range left footed strike that zoomed past Olimpa, giving Mexico a two goal advantage. Martinique midfielder Kevin Parsemain scored one back just before halftime with a penalty kick goal, but it wasn’t to be for the Caribbean nation.

In the 90th minute, El Tri substitute Miguel Ponce put the finishing touches on the game, sending in a cross from right back Miguel Layun into an open net after a great dummy by forward Raul Jimenez.

The opening match of the day between Canada and Panama was nearly devoid of highlights, as both sides shot just once on target, with a number of efforts sailing high or wide in the thin air of Denver.

Panama held the best chance of the match, with Jairo Jimenez firing a long-range effort that Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan needed to get a hand to, knocking it over the bar for a corner kick.

The performance by Canada in the tournament is the worst in their nation’s history in the Gold Cup. The two-time champions have only failed to win a match one other time, in 1993, but it was also the first time that they failed to score a single goal in the tournament.

    • Mig

      I think it is hard to overstate how popular hockey is in Canada and how much it drives their sporting interests. At one point in the late 80s, there were 23 writers for Montreal papers that were covering the Canadiens. 23. I’m sure the number is lower now but you get the point. It is an obsession and mirrors how soccer is treated in most nations.

      Add in the winter climate across much of the populated areas of the country and you have a predilection for indoor sports and hockey. That’s gotta be part of it.


    • Todd Marsch

      I’m a bit perplexed by this as well. Given that they have 3 MLS teams now, I would think you could take 4-5 Canadian players from each Canadian MLS team, 4-5 Canadian players from the rest of MLS, and 4-5 Canadian players who play abroad, and you can get a team that is at least equivalent to a decent MLS team. It seems that a decent MLS team could at least make it into the Hex more often than not and make it into the quarters of the Gold Cup more often than not.


      • Dennis

        Are there only 12 Canadians total on the 3 Canadian MLS rosters. I am not sure how many of those are starters so the contingent from Canada probably has about 6 MLS starters. The other 7 teams leading the conferences; NY, LA, KC, Portland, Dallas, Houston and SLC have only 3 or 4 Canadians in total. It might not be as easy to form a team as you think.


      • Ryan

        The three MLS Canadian teams really don’t have much Canadian talent. Vancouver only has Teibert and Simon Thomas who has yet to play for them. Montreal has 5 Canadians, but only Bernier is a real contributor. TFC (not a decent MLS team) has 6 of them, of varying quality, none are exactly lighting up MLS. In the rest of MLS, DeRo has been class for a long time but is over the hill, Will Johnson is clearly the best Candian in MLS, and there’s only 4 more in MLS. Canada is simply not producing much talent right now (that wants to play for them).


  • Mat

    So Martinique is basically in the quarters as well, unless Belize or Cuba win their final game by a 4 goal margin and El Salvador or T&T win. Safe bet we’ll see the French Islanders in the next round.

    I’m too lazy to go figure it out, but supposing the US finishes first, who would we likely meet?


    • Dennis

      Since the finishing order in Group B is pretty uncertain, it is kind of tricky: If Cuba or Belize win by 5 goals and Haiti loses by 1 (or Haiti loses by some other swing of 6 goals wrt to Cuba or Belize); or both El Salvadore and T&T win; or if Haiti ties and T&T win; then the US plays the 3rd place team from group B (Haiti, El Salvadore or T&T), else US vs Martinique.

      I think the most likely scenario is the US plays Martinique. But we won’t know until today’s games are played.


      • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo

        Of QF 3rd placers…Martinque is going to be the scariest. they played pretty well up till now.


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